Capitalizing on the unexpected success of the group's debut album, The Evolution of Gospel, Sounds of Blackness delivered The Night Before Christmas in late 1992, just in time for the holiday season. It's fairly safe to consider this a rushed project. Sounds of Blackness were still riding high on the success of singles like "Optimistic" and "Testify" at the time, and, if anything, this album kept the group in the spotlight for a few more months. In retrospect, there's nothing particularly amazing about this album. The group quickly treads through a number of holiday favorites, never devoting more than a couple minutes to each particular song. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were signed on as producers, which makes this album noteworthy to a certain extent, yet the dynamic duo don't deliver the sort of genius production you'd expect from them. Overall, The Night Before Christmas sounds like a half-hearted effort. And even though the group's intentions seem in place, giving the album a truly spiritual feel, the execution seems a bit too casual to be truly moving. This is one you might want to pass on until you've explored Sounds of Blackness' other '90s albums first.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier